Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Have you ever noticed that when you leave your children with a sitter they suddenly seem much smaller and younger?
I first left the seven year old with a babysitter when she was six weeks old.
The sitter was a trusted friend and I needed a break.
We had no relatives to come and stay when we came home from the hospital.
The husband had to go back to work after a week at home.
I was alone with a 7 day old baby and a post-partum body.
It was tough.
At the time I felt very sorry for myself.
However, in some ways it was a gift.
I had to get babysitters.
It was a painful, tear filled necessity.
Seven years later, I usually walk out the door with no difficulty.
It got hard again when the two year old was a baby but I am even at ease leaving her - most of the time.
I have learned that I am a better mom, wife, friend - human being, if I spent time away from my children.
Of course, it doesn't come guilt free.
Waving goodbye to my girls who suddenly look like babies again may never be something I am fully comfortable with but I can do it.
Friends have told me they think I'm lucky that I get to go out so much.
(Is once every 2-3 weeks much?)
I say, luck has nothing to do with it.
As with everything in life - I worked for it - I earned it.
I made myself do it because I knew I would get depressed if I didn't.
I was cruel to be kind - to myself.
How do my kids feel about it?
The seven year old loves to have sitters. I let her meet them first - we don't go ahead with anyone she doesn't click with.
I put the two year old down to sleep before I go out so she doesn't even know I'm gone.
In two years - she has never woken up to a sitter.
We have just begun to have her spend awake time with sitters so I'm not tied to a 7.30 pm departure.
Being a full time mom can be isolating, monotonous and lonely.
Going out alone can be completely rejuvenating.
So, call your sitter and take yourself out this weekend.
Just don't look back!